Through the Looking Glass: Adventures in Social Media

Social Media has become a critical component for marketing an event. It has also proven to have great worth in providing real time feedback on the event. But even with these benefits it can feel overwhelming to manage all of the work and data resulting from social media. Without focus, it can turn into a never-ending quest with many distractions. Like Alice traveling through Wonderland to find the white rabbit, we can get distracted by all of the new and interesting things we see along our way.

To make social media management easier, we need to focus on the data that really matters. This means looking beyond likes and shares and really digging into what people's social activity is telling us. If you know what you are looking for, you'll have a better chance of finding it. There is a good deal of work and analysis involved, but there is also a valuable level of insight that can be gained if you put in the time.

Here's a quick list of what to spend time looking at within your social media strategies.

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Social Media: Not Just for Marketing

We've written on the various ways you can use social media for marketing your event, but as this article points out there are a number of ways you can use social platforms beyond straight marketing. The public nature of social media will turn any use of it into marketing but we suggest looking at the platforms specifically for these uses and then reap the benefits that inherently happen.

  • Conversation and Resource Sharing - whether it is through Facebook or on a social site within your own event website. Give people a place where they can share ideas and questions before, during, and after the event. Create this central location for posting presentations and event materials to answer the always nagging question of "where can I find this online?"

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On the Right Track? Tracking your Event Campaigns

Of course all smart event organizers track key metrics like registrants, attendance, budget, and profit but many times those metrics are never tied back to the individual marketing campaigns. While it may be easy to smile and say the overall goals were met - we were a success, it is important to take another look at how they were met. As much as possible each piece of public outreach should be able to be measured.

Emails -- Which emails got the most opens? Was there something different in those subject lines? What was the offer within the email? Was there a certain time of day or week that performed better? Find the common ties between the high opens as well as the commonalities among the low opens. For future events, do more of what worked and less of what did not.

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